What is the ABCD principle by Google? How to apply the principle

Video advertising is increasingly favored by businesses for its ability to convey information in detail and vividly. Every day, thousands of video ads are created, and how to make yours stand out and attract the attention of your target audience. Don’t worry too much, apply Google’s ABCD formula for effective creative advertising on YouTube. What is the ABCD principle by Google? Please follow Optimal Agency‘s article below to get the most detailed answer!

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What is the ABCD principle by Google?

What is the ABCD principle by Google?

The ABCD Principles provide global, data-driven advertising guidance to help you deliver quality video ads that meet your marketing goals. Here is a formula for creating effective ads on YouTube.

This approach focuses on attracting attention, introducing the brand, building a connection with the audience, and providing clear instructions for the next actions. This principle is especially effective for awareness advertising and advertising campaigns that aim to increase brand awareness. To better understand this principle, let’s analyze the following factors:


The letter A in the ABCD principle stands for Attract, emphasizing the importance of attracting attention from the beginning. This is an important factor in creating effective video ads on YouTube.

If you want to attract your audience’s attention, you need to have a compelling and interesting story. The goal in this stage is to attract the audience’s attention and keep them from skipping the ad. To achieve this, you need to attract attention, providing the value they need within the first 5 seconds before they have a chance to ignore it.


The letter B in the ABCD principle stands for Brand. Google suggests that you should integrate your brand into your YouTube video ads in a natural and meaningful way.

While it’s important to capture your audience’s attention, you also need to focus on your brand. When your advertising is effective, people will know who you are. For video advertising to be effective, you need to include your brand in the scenes. At the same time, create a connection between your brand and your story.

Integrate your brand into your video ad in the first 5 seconds to optimize ad recall. To increase awareness, you need to connect viewers with your brand ad.

Including brand images and promotional videos naturally will strengthen the connection between the audience and the brand while increasing brand awareness. Make sure the brand is placed in important and recognizable scenes. At the same time, ensure that other factors do not compete or affect the brand.


Abbreviated by the letter C in Google’s ABCD principle. An effective video ad needs to convey emotions through stories and connect with viewers. Connecting with your audience is one of the important steps to creating engagement and influence with your target audience.

To strengthen the connection with the audience, advertisers need to use calls to action to ask the audience to participate and interact with the brand. Using sound and images in advertising to convey messages to target audiences helps increase brand recognition. Be creative and combine unique elements to create fun and appeal for your audience.

Direct (Navigation)

This is the key point in Google’s ABCD principle symbolized by the letter A. Provides specific instructions on the action the advertiser wants the viewer to take next. If you want effective video advertising, you need to plan clearly and give specific instructions to your target audience.

Make sure the call to action (CTA) is clear to lead customers to the important points of the video. To do that, you need to create engaging and easy-to-understand information while creating multiple sections in your video to maintain audience engagement and interest. YouTube also offers many interactive features to help you do this including end screens and CTA overlays.

Find out more information on our website such as the AIDA Model in Marketing.

How to apply Google’s ABCD principles to create effective ads

Now that you understand what Google’s ABCD principle is, let’s explore how to use it in creating phased video ads!

How to apply Google's ABCD principles to create effective ads

Attract attention

According to many studies, 95% of video ads on YouTube are viewed with the sound turned on. Sound is one of the factors that attracts viewers’ attention from the beginning to decide whether they want to continue watching the ad.

Brands can use audio elements to attract viewers’ attention and make them stay through the ad. This ensures the marketing message is fully conveyed to the viewer.

When producing promotional videos, you need to consider using additional sound effects to attract attention. On the YouTube platform, brands should take advantage of 3 – 5 seconds to attract the audience’s attention and convey the message before viewers decide to skip the ad.

Effective strategies to attract customer interest include eye-catching images, compelling headlines, and copy, and targeted creative advertising. During this stage, advertising aims to stand out from competitors and create a first impression to arouse curiosity.

Mention the brand naturally

Besides creating content to attract the audience’s attention, the most important thing is that you need to represent your brand to the audience so they remember. To reference your brand naturally, you can consider using elements that represent your brand such as product images, adding watermarks and overlays to add your logo to your ad.

Mention the brand right before the end of the video to avoid losing focus and making viewers feel uncomfortable. With this approach, you will focus on providing value or useful information to the audience instead of focusing too much on promoting products or brands. Then the audience will watch your video ad and receive the message you want to convey.

It is not necessary to mention the display name or brand logo for people to remember. You can use your brand’s Tagline to enhance your audience’s ability to remember your ad and deepen your customer’s impression. Don’t place the brand logo directly on the screen, instead use related branded sounds to help increase brand awareness.

Connect with your audience

Conveying content clearly and correctly is important to establish a connection with the audience. Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, you next need to establish an emotional connection with your potential customers. This is demonstrated in building relationships and interacting with people on a deeper level.

Connect with customers through multiple mediums and provide valuable content. Once you understand the needs and wants of your target audience, brands can create meaningful connections that make a strong impression.

To strengthen the connection with the target audience, brands can tell stories in advertising. Create funny and interesting content to attract viewers to watch all the ads. This helps increase ad memorability and enhance brand awareness in the minds of customers.

Specific action instructions

After attracting and connecting with your audience, lead them to take an action that creates measurable results. In this stage, you should guide potential customers to take a specific action: make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, request more information,… through a call to action (CTA). in advertising.

Where brands use in-stream video ad formats, they can skip 5 seconds. Placing a CTA in front of a video when creating an ad will increase brand impressions. If a brand uses a non-skippable in-stream video ad format, place a CTA behind the video to guide them on what to do next. By providing a clear roadmap, brands can maximize conversions and achieve their marketing goals.

At this point, you have a better understanding of what Google’s ABCD principle is and how to apply it to create successful advertising campaigns. Applying all components to advertising helps increase the chances of advertising achieving the desired results, increasing maximum brand recognition.

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Frequently asked questions

What does the ABCD principle in advertising creativity include?

Attention, Branding, Connection, and Direction are the four principles for creating effective YouTube video ads that Google offers. Apply the principles to video ad creation and get the best results.

How effective is the ABCD principle?

Although the ABCD principle is not a formula for generating creative ideas. But if you have a creative advertising idea, ABCD will help you realize it on YouTube with the best efficiency. On average, ABCD delivers a 30% short-term increase in sales potential and a 17% long-term brand contribution.

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